The Columbia, Missouri chapter of the Audubon Society — serving Audrain, Boone, Cooper, Howard, Monroe & Randolph Counties

News Archives

Monday, May 1, 2017

CAS Spring Picnic

Please join us for our annual spring picnic! Plan to meet at the shelter at 4 p.m. to take a walk around the path to CANS so we can admire the prairie restoration work that has gone on this past year. Last week there was Indian Paintbrush blooming! The nfrom 5:30-7 p.m. we’ll gather at the shelter for a potluck dinner. Please bring a dish to share. Plates, cups, napkins, and silverware will be provided as well as drinks. We look forward to seeing everyone!


Monday, May 1, 2017

April Meeting Highlights

Attendees of the CAS meeting were treated to an interesting presentation by Danielle Fox, the Community Conservationist for the City of Columbia. Danielle has drawn upon her academic background and past work with the Missouri Departmentof Conservation to develop a wide range of plans, programs, and partnerships intended to promote conservation within and the Columbia community. Current projects include restoring land for butterfly habitat and building the CoMoWild Yards program, which seeks to match homeowners interested in planting and managing their lawns for better pollinator and bird habitat with volunteer advisors who can mentor those efforts. Also, official elections were held for the 2017-2018 CAS board. The only change will be John Besser taking over for Lottie Bushmann as Vice-President, while remaining as Natural Areas chair. Please thank both Lottie and John for their service to CAS the next time you see them.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Grassland Wayside Panel Dedication Day Activities

CAS members were greeted with perfect weather on Sunday, April 23, to enjoy a full day of activities at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. They were celebrating the dedication of the state’s first interactive bird checklist wayside panel, a product of the 10-year cooperative agreement between the Audubon Society of Missouri (ASM) and Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of State Parks.
ASM volunteers (many CAS members among them) work to help Missourians become more familiar with birds through the State Parks Checklist Project (SPARKS). The program makes park checklists available to the public online and at state park visitor centers. The new interactive wayside panel allows park visitors to use a QR code to download the Rock Bridge Memorial State Park bird checklist for use in the park. 
The day began with a bird walk along Spring Creek and the Sinkhole Trail, led by Kathleen Anderson and Edge Wade. Among the birds seen were just-returned Great Crested Flycatcher, White-eyed and Red-eyed Vireo, and Blue-winged and Kentucky Warbler. Several participants satisfied well-earned appetites and shared birding lore and experiences over lunch at Buckingham’s Smokehouse BBQ before returning to the park for the dedication ceremony hosted by Park Superintendent Sarah Jones, who described the habitat development and maintenance of the restored prairie traversed by the Grassland Trail. Allison Vaughn, representing DNR for SPARKS agreements, followed with additional comments about Missouri State Parks’ habitat maintenance and the value of the SPARKS agreement with ASM. Edge Wade, conservation partnership coordinator, noted that the SPARKS program is the work of volunteers and that funds earned are used for formal bird monitoring work, scholarships for young people to learn about habitat needs of birds, and many other projects in partnership with a variety of organizations in Missouri. 
To cap the day, Greg Leonard led an eager troop of birders and Americorps volunteers on a walk through the grasslands. Northern Bobwhite, Red-headed Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Vireo, and Yellow-breasted Chat were among the species entertaining the group.


Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017

From the President

I spent a Saturday with Bill Mees and Eric Wood as part of a larger group learning how to kill exotics, i.e. Bush Honeysuckle, on adopted sections of Columbia trails (our is the stretch of city trail in front of the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary). Our leader commented that, unlike the other teams doing quarter-mile stretches of invasive removal, our job would be easy because of all the work already done on the property. Indeed, none of us needed to learn why to kill Bush Honeysuckle. Clearly birds eat it, which is how it gets spread everywhere, but there are better native berries and plants that can also support and feed birds. I was really glad to find a room full of people who were going to take on other areas, but when I checked the maps I found that there were a lot of spots left. When I had suggested to the board that we could take on another spot, they reminded me that the Columbia Audubon Society already owns three very large properties that are always in need of maintenance (including invasive removal) and that the response to work requests is always from the same small group. If you are inspired, go out and assemble a group to adopt a section of trail, but also please remember that one of CAS’s missions is maintaining natural areas for birds; when we call for help, please come! And give your yard another check, too.


Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017

Brad Jacobs Honored with Three Lifetime Achievement Awards

Brad Jacobs

Brad Jacobs, a past president and dynamic member of CAS, retired from the Missouri Department of Conservation in the autumn of 2016. In recent months he has been honored with lifetime achievement awards for his work in bird conservation in Missouri and throughout the Western Hemisphere.

PARTNERS IN FLIGHT AWARD

Brad has been selected to receive an individual 2016 Partners in Flight Award in the category of Lifetime Achievement. Brad’s vision, his work in international avian ecology and conservation, and his organization skills and determination were critical contributions to the founding of Partners in Flight (PIF) in 1990. PIF has more than 150 partner Western Hemisphere organizations engaged in all aspects of landbird conservation, from science, research, planning, and policy development to land management, monitoring, education, and outreach. Brad plans to be at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Spokane, Washington to receive the award on Wednesday evening, March 8th, 2017.

USFWS AWARD

On September 2, 2016, the USFWS Missouri Ecological Services Field Office in Columbia presented Brad with a Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Award in recognition of his dedication, commitment, and contributions to the conservation of Neotropical Migratory Birds in Mexico and Central America and his recognized leadership on the identification, distribution, ecology, and habitat protection of Missouri’s avifauna.

ASM AWARD

ASM presented Brad with the organization’s highest honor, the Rudolf Bennitt Distinguished Service Award, at the 2016 ASM Fall Meeting. The accomplishments cited and details of the presentation event appeared in the December 2016 BLUEBIRD, VOLUME 83, No. 4, p. 121, and may be read on the ASM website.


Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017

A New and Amusing Bird-Safe Collar

Kris Hagglund passed along an interesting story in the March/April issue of The Pacific Standard (www.psmag.org), regarding a creative new approach to restricting outdoor cats’ ability to hunt birds. While traditional collars rely on bells or other noisemakers, the collars made by Birdsbesafe (www.birdsbesafe.com) rely on color instead, which songbirds’ eyes are quite sensitive to even under the low-light conditions in which cats often hunt.

The founder, Nancy Brennan, is a Vermont resident who wanted to find a better way for cats and birds to co-exist, so she had the idea to sew a brightly-colored collar for her skilled-hunter cat; the results were so encouraging that she launched a business making and selling the collars, which are now available in Europe, Canada, and the US. For skeptics, the website also links to a field study conducted by the St. Lawrence University biology department:

“Dr. Willson reports that of the spring 12-week trial period involving 19 pet cats that wore the Birdsbesafe cat collar cover half the time, ‘We had almost no bird deaths at all when the cats were collared [with Birdsbesafe covers on], versus 19 times more likely to kill a bird without a [wearing a Birdsbesafe] collar.’”

It’s certainly a creative idea, though one that, in the words of the Pacific Standard, makes the cats look “a little bit like an Elizabethan court jester who favored flashy 1980s-era neons”. It’s worth a visit to the website even if you don’t have a cat, just to read more about this creative bird-loving entrepreneur (and, of course, to fulfill your daily need for amusing internet cat photos).


Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017

Distinguishing Purple Finches from House Finches

To expand our ease and expertise in distinguishing between similar species, the best approach is to spend a lot of time really looking at, that is studying, those “boring” common ones. Learning to automatically note the field marks of the commonly-seen bird trains the eye and brain to be alert to one that is different.

Although Purple Finches have notched tails while House Finch tails are squared at the end, that is often difficult to see, especially on short visits to feeders. Below are the field marks I find most helpful. With a little practice (and much close observation of the more often-seen House Finches) the differences will catch your eye and invite closer looks at potential Purple Finches.

Male and female House Finch

COLOR:

Male Purple Finches are closer to pink, not the red/orange (or even yellowish) tones of House Finches. In fact, I think a better name for Purple Finch is Magenta Finch, both for their color and because it sounds better and it reminds me what color I’m looking for.

The rather plain, light to medium brown of the female House Finch gives it an overall “plain jane” look. The female Purple finch is darker overall. This effect is accentuated by the face markings and streaking (see below).

FACE:

Male House Finches have a broad reddish area running from the forehead, over the eye and onto the nape. Purple Finches have a dark pink area between the eyes, but not extending to the side of the head. This dark pink area extends and blends with the crown of the same color. Although the House Finch male has a brown area running back from eye and down to cheek, this is a medium/light brown. The male Purple Finch’s similar area is a heavy and dark brown.

Male and female Purple Finch

Female House Finches have little or no obvious darker brown area on a rather plain, light brown face. The female Purple Finch has a very noticeable dark brown area with white above and below.

At left, male and female Purple Finch

CROWN:

The male House Finch has a light/medium brown/gray crown (about the same color as that brown face area). The Purple Finch has bright dark pink/magenta crown that is an eye-catcher.

The female House Finch has a crown that blends with the overall plain light/medium brown of the face. The Purple Finch has a dark, somewhat streaky brown crown that is emphasized by that white facial area just below.

BIB: (Males only)

The House Finch has a distinct bib from chin to mid-breast. The bib’s red to reddish-orange color matches the color of the face. The Purple Finch bib area is lighter, pinkish, and blends into the belly area without a clear bottom to the bib.

STREAKS:

The male House Finch has strong brown streaks (sometimes looking like half spots/half streaks) on flanks and belly, beginning at the bottom of the bib. The male Purple Finch has pink spotty streaks the same color as the bib area, continuing onto flanks, and very few on the belly area.

House Finch females have plain, virtually unstreaked crowns. Purple Finch females have clearly visible dark brown streaks on the crown. Female House Finch flanks and belly streaks are light/medium brown, matching the color of the head, upper mantle, and throat. Female Purple Finches have prominent dark brown streaking on flanks and upper belly, matching (or even darker than) the brown of the crown, cheek and malar area.

Male House Finch Male Purple Finch

CULMEN:

I put this last, because although it is a “clincher” field mark, it is more challenging for the beginning/intermediate birder to catch and appreciate than the features noted above. The House Finch has a distinctly convex (curved) culmen (upper bill). The Purple Finch’s culmen is almost a straight line from face to tip. - story and photos provided by Edge Wade; photos are in the public domain


Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017

Basic Birding Skill Classes in April

<p>On Saturday, April 8 2017, Joanna and I will be teaching a Basic Birding Skills class at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area. This is the third year we’ve offered this class through the Columbia Area Career Center; past attendees have quite enjoyed it. We focus more on skills than strict ID; how to look at and listen to birds, how to describe bird locations and behaviors to others, binocular choices and use, and so on. April at Eagle Bluffs is a great time to interact with birds, as there tend to be a wide variety of waterfowl, songbirds, and more for us to explore and practice birding skills on. If you or someone you know might be interested, check it out and register at https://cacc.asapconnected.com/ (look under Games &amp; Hobbies). As of 2/28, there were only three slots left for this year’s class.</p> <img src="/chat/2016-2017/59/7/classes.jpg" title="Photo credit Eric Reuter"/>


Monday, Feb 13, 2017

Annual Great Backyard Bird Feeder Crawl

The 2017 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place Friday, February 17th through Monday, February 20th.  GBBC is an annual four-day citizen science event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are.

Columbia Audubon Society will be leading a crawl in our area on Saturday, February 18th. This Feeder Crawl will start at Songbird Station at 8 a.m. From there we'll 'crawl' to various backyard bird feeders in and around the Columbia area and count birds for at least 15 minutes at each backyard, then submit each checklist to eBird.  The trip will last about 2 hours and return to Songbird Station for coffee and donuts. Afterwards anyone who wishes may join in birding the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary.

For more information on the GBBC, visit http://gbbc.birdcount.org/.


Friday, Dec 16, 2016

2016 Christmas Bird Count and Chili Supper Postponed

Due to dangerous road conditions, the Columbia Christmas Bird Count WILL NOT be held tomorrow, Saturday, December 17.

Stay tuned for an alternative date!


Monday, Sep 26, 2016

2017 Teacher Summer Workshop Scholarships

The Columbia Audubon Society is accepting applications from mid-Missouri teachers to attend a week long summer ecology or ornithology workshop at the National Audubon Society Camp on Hog Island in Maine. Each award covers tuition, room, and board for an intensive multi-day course of field study and instruction in ornithology, ecology, and conservation. We ask that Scholarship winners be willing to give a short presentation of their Hog Audubon experience to the CAS membership in the fall of 2017. The value of each scholarship is approximately $1000. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the recipient. (Columbia Public Schools applicant may qualify for a travel reimbursement of $300 if he/she offers a fall workshop. In-service credit is also provided for CPS teachers.)

For more information, download the application (400KB PDF). Applications must be submitted by October 31, 2016.


Friday, Sep 9, 2016

Eagle Bluffs Management Plan

The Missouri Department of Conservation has been seeking public input on a proposed 10-year management plan for Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, though only ten comments have been received. The official comment period closes at theend of August, but according to the Columbia Tribune, MDC will continue to accept comments until the plan is finalized in several months.

As Eagle Bluffs is one of the premier regional birding spots, Audubon members should consider reading the document and making their views known regarding birding access. For example, see the MDC response on page 20 to a public request to allow more access for birders during fall waterfowl hunting season:

“There is a balancing act between hunter and birder satisfaction. The hunting season is less than 100 days; whereas birding can take place any day of the year.” Many birders would argue that birding is not the same year-round, and that fall waterfowl hunting season by definition overlaps with the migration season in which many interesting birds are only temporarily present. You can read the document and submit comments at http://ow.ly/FWP9303JCVQ.


Friday, Sep 9, 2016

Banding with Nature 2016

Help us introduce over 1,100 schoolchildren to birding and the outdoors at the annual Band With Nature event. This year’s event will run for three days, from Tuesday October 11 through Thursday October 13, at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary. We are hoping to have every Columbia public school participate! Volunteers are needed and can serve half day or all day, on any day. Morning sessions are 9:00 a.m. to noon and afternoon sessions are noon to 2:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided for anyone who volunteers all day. Volunteers are encouraged to attend the activity stations as their interest dictates. To sign up or learn more, please get in touch with Bill Mees at jandbmees@mchsi.com or 573-445-7781.


Friday, Sep 9, 2016

September CAS meeting to be held at Lee School

Due to a scheduling conflict, our first meeting of the 2016-2017 season will be held at Lee School, 1208 Locust St next to Stephens College and Sacred Heart Church. Parking is available on the west side of the building, and in a lot SE of the school accessible from College Ave. There is also street parking in the area.

Our two speakers for this meeting are teachers in the Columbia Public School district. This July, both attended Educator Week at the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine with financial support from CAS. They will talk about what they learned on Hog Island, how it affected them as teachers, and how they plan to use it in their classrooms. It should be a great night!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Spring CAS Potluck May 18

Following tradition, the May “meeting” will be a potluck picnic instead, giving us all a chance to enjoy the springtime outdoors together. This year, we’ll gather at Wild Haven Nature Area on O’Rear Road. There will be a bird walk at 5 p.m. followed by a potluck at 6 p.m. Disposable tableware and soft drinks will be provided for those who don’t bring their own. Scheduled meetings and field trips will resume in September.


Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016

The Missouri Honeysuckle Project

Something EXCITING is happening here in Missouri: Mike Szydlowski, the new President of Science Teachers of Missouri, is organizing an effort to remove 1,000,000 honeysuckle in Missouri.

One of the topics of the school science curriculum is how invasive species can have a negative impact on nature and native species and habitats.  Mike's idea is to get students, their families, schools and public involved in a hands on project that will demonstrate the damage invasives can do and to actually do something to begin to remedy the problem.

Here in Columbia, this Honeysuckle Removal Project began early in March at Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary, the immediate neighbor of Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary where Audubon has already removed all the honeysuckle from its property.  Please consider joining friends and neighbors to get this project off to an exciting start.

To learn more about this project check out:   mohoneysuckleproject.com

By the way, you are encouraged to remove Honeysuckle on your own property.  You can then log your removal count on the website.


Wednesday, Feb 17, 2016

CAS fundraising results from first CoMoGIVES participation.

CAS had great success in its first year of participation in CoMoGIVES, the web-based fundraising campaign sponsored by the Community Foundation of Central Missouri. We raised $3,855 through 47 separate gifts, which placed CAS 25th of 71 organizations in the total amount of money raised. The gifts ranged from $10 to $1000 and donors included both CAS members and nonmembers. CAS is grateful to Edge Wade for providing signed David Plank bird prints as gifts for donors who contributed a minimum of $50 or $100.

The funds raised from this campaign will be used to continue supporting our community-based activities, such as implementing the “Band with Nature” field trips for 2nd graders, sponsoring older children on Columbia Public School summer trips to the Teton Mountains, and sending teachers to Audubon’s summer nature camp at Hog Island, Maine. The CAS Board of Directors is also exploring funding an educational, entertainment event for local birders. Thank you to all who contributed to CAS through CoMoGIVES. We are proud of our success and looking forward to participating again in December.

— Kris Hagglund, President


Tuesday, Nov 17, 2015

Help support CAS during CoMoGives this December

The Columbia Audubon Society is one of many Columbia-area non-profit organizations participating in CoMoGives, a fundraising campaign operated by the Community Foundation of Central Missouri. We believe preserving and restoring native natural space benefits the well-being and livability of Columbia and the surrounding area.

To Contribute

If you would like to contribute to Columbia Audubon Society as part of this campaign, visit www.CoMoGives.com between December 1st – 31st, to contribute online, or use a printed CoMoGives guide to send your contribution by mail.

Thank-you gifts

In appreciation of your support, contributers of $50 or more will receive a selection of bird prints commissioned by John Croll, Sr. of Columbia, in 1973, the year Mr. Plank began his career as a fulltime bird artist.

Contributions of $50 or more: the Patron Series Plate 1, Northern Cardinal and Plate 2, Eastern Bluebird (full color, 21.5" × 17") is offered as a set.

Contributions of $100 or more: in addition to the set of two full-color plate prints above, the first 50 contributors will receive a numbered, limited edition print of 19.5" × 15" pen and ink drawing of either a Bald Eagle or Northern Bobwhite, signed by David Plank.


Tuesday, Oct 20, 2015

[12/19/2015] Christmas Bird Count and Chili Supper

As in many past years, Columbia Audubon Society members will be out counting birds the Saturday before Christmas. We will have the usual 12 teams out covering their respective areas (see map above). Although there are some yearly changes in leaders, generally the same leader has birded the same area for many years, so they really know what to find where. Teams are generally the same, too, but new participants are always welcome. If you haven’t done it before and want to get on a team the most reliable way is to forget the computer and call Laura Hillmanat 573-397-1010 cell or 573-442-3703 home.

After the count the real fun comes at the Chili Supper where we eat, call out the area results one species at a time, and come up with the grand total of species and birds. Courageous souls serve pots of chili in hot kitchens to provide food for the event. Lori Hagglund is in charge of organizing the dinner which starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Community of Christ Church on 1111 S Fairview Rd, Columbia, MO. Please contact Lori at hagglund.lori@gmail.com to volunteer to bring chili or other essentials like good desserts.


Monday, Sep 28, 2015

Bird Habitat Improvement Grant Available for Educators

The Jerry Wade Youth Habitat and Education Program is a matching grant program created by the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MoBCI), the Audubon Society of Missouri (ASM – see http://www.mobirds.org/) and the Missouri Environmental Education Association (MEEA – see http://www.meea.org/). Memorial gifts honoring Jerry Wade and funds from these organizations provide the dollars to support this effort to engage youth and their teachers in habitat improvement to benefit birds.

Grant award(s) will be up to $500 each to purchase materials or supplies to carry out bird habitat conservation projects in Missouri. $500 is available for awards for 2015-2016. Eligible activities include projects that protect, enhance or restore bird habitats on any lands in Missouri. All projects should be habitat based and not strictly designed for monitoring. An educational component is mandatory. Awards will be made to the recipient's school or organization. RECEIPT DEADLINE: October 31, 2015. Details and application form are available from:

https://mobci.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/2015_yhep_call-for-proposals.pdf (37 KB PDF)


Friday, Jul 31, 2015

Scholorships Available for Teacher Summer Workshops in Ecology and Ornithology

The Columbia Audubon Society is accepting applications from mid-Missouri teachers to attend a week long summer ecology or ornithology workshop at the National Audubon Society Camp on Hog Island in Maine. Each award covers tuition, room, and board for an intensive multi-day course of field study and instruction in ornithology, ecology, and conservation. We ask that Scholarship winners be willing to give a short presentation of their Hog Audubon experience to the CAS membership in the fall of 2016. The value of each scholarship is approximately $1000. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the recipient. (Columbia Public Schools applicant may qualify for a travel reimbursement of $300 if he/she offers a fall workshop. In-service credit is also provided for CPS teachers.)

For more information, download the application (500KB PDF).


Monday, Jun 8, 2015

Summer/Fall 2015 Prairie Seed Collecting

If you'd like to help the prairie restoration project at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, come join us at one of these upcoming seed collection events:

  • June 25 - Thursday evening – Prairie Fork or Auxvasse Glade
  • July 7 – Tuesday evening – Tucker Prairie
  • July 23 – Thursday evening – Tucker Prairie
  • August 11 –Tuesday evening – Prairie Fork
  • August 29 – Saturday – Tucker Prairie
  • Sept. 8 – Tuesday evening –Auxvasse Glade
  • Sept. 26 - Saturday – Diggs Area
  • October 10 – Saturday – Rocky Fork CA
  • October 11 – Sunday– Prairie Fork or Auxvasse Glade
  • E-mail John Besser to receive updates on where to meet and what to bring.


    Sunday, Jun 7, 2015

    [6/20/2015] Open House at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary

    The Columbia Audubon Society will be hosting an Open House at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary located at 3607 Bray Ave. on Saturday, June 20, from 10am–1pm. The Audubon property is adjacent to the City of Columbia’s Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary.

    The open house will serve to acquaint people with the property, which, together with the city’s nature sanctuary, represents an opportunity for a natural setting nestled in an urban environment. Attendees will be encouraged to walk the 0.5 mile natural tread trail through the woodlands to see many old growth white oaks and the society’s ecosystem restoration efforts. There will be 3 activities taking place during the open house:  owl pellet dissection, origami to construct a Passenger Pigeon, and a visit from Raptor Rehab, the University of Missouri’s School of Veterinary Science rehabilitation program for raptors. There will be a short presentation by Audubon members to highlight plans for the nature sanctuary, including a largescale prairie reconstruction project that will span 13 acres shared by the Columbia Audubon Society and the City of Columbia. Mike Snyder, Park Planning and Development Superintendent, will also make a few comments. Following the presentations there will be a drawing for a door prize (must be present to win). All ages are welcome to this free public event. 


    Friday, May 1, 2015

    CAS Receives $10,000 Donation For Prairie Restoration

    The prairie restoration efforts undertaken by Columbia Audubon Society recently received an magnificent boost through a generous anonymous donation of $10,000 intended to support this project. CAS extends its heartfelt gratitude to this donor for valuing birds, habitat restoration, and conservation. Members have been working for years to coordinate with the City of Columbia, other organizations, and private citizens who share the values of the CAS mission. CAS has worked with these entities to collect native seed from natural areas around the region, prepare the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary for prairie restoration, and to educate the public about the value of CANS. This donation significantly boosts the possibilities for public education & enjoyment of birds while increasing the biodiversity of our area. — Eric Reuter


    Saturday, Mar 7, 2015

    Volunteers Needed For Spring Outreach Efforts

    CAS would like to host a public open house this spring at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary in northwest Columbia; possible dates include Saturdays May 30th and June 6th. Goals for the event include:

    1. Introduce the community to CAS & the area.
    2. Discuss the prairie restoration project that will transform the 13-acre area.
    3. Discuss the partnership between CAS and Columbia Parks & Recreation.
    4. Encourage attendees to join CAS.
    5. Enjoy a guided tour of the Nature Sanctuary.

    Making this open house a reality will require help from the membership; the Board is seeking volunteers to organize and hold the event. In addition, there is potential to host an educational outreach booth at Earth Day (Sunday, April 19) to engage the public in CAS’s general mission while spreading the word about the open house. If you can help make these exciting events take place, please contact Kris Hagglund at hagglundkj@gmail.com


    Friday, Feb 27, 2015

    Weather Cancellation: 2/28/2015 Burroughs Audubon Nature Center

    The field trip scheduled for Saturday February 28th to KC is cancelled due to the weather forecast saying that area will start getting snow in the early afternoon.  We'll keep you posted if the trips is re-scheduled.


    Sunday, Feb 15, 2015

    2/16 Eagle Bluffs Field Trip Cancelled

    Sorry! Due to the snow forecast, this trip is cancelled. Check back later to for updated field trip schedule.


    Monday, Dec 1, 2014

    Controlled Burn at Wild Haven Natural Area Planned for Early December 2014

    CAS hopes to burn roughly 15 acres of Wild Haven Natural Area soon as part of a regular effort to maintain and improve the natural habitat. We are burning to maintain native habitats of open oak-hickory woodland (well-spaced mature trees with a diverse ground layer and scattered fire-resistant shrubs and young tress) and savannah (native meadow on west; native plantings near picnic shelter). Fire will control invaders like autumn olive, bush honeysuckle, and red cedar.

    The burn area is twice as large as we've burned previously, but will be easier to manage because we are relying more on O'Rear Road and Hinkson Creek as firebreaks. After this burn, this area will have been burned twice in three years and we will burn less frequently (about a three year interval). We may establish some additional burn units.

    We'd like to burn in early December, depending on weather and fuel conditions. Ideal weather woudl be: clear skies; temperature 40-60 degrees F; moderate humidity (25-60% RH), to allow fuel to burn easily, but not too aggressively; light (5-15 mph) north wind, to move the fire predictably and to blow smoke away from O'Rear road.

    Volunteers are welcome, and should contact John Besser to be placed on the e-mail list for notification when the time arrives: jbesser1@gmail.com


    Friday, Oct 10, 2014

    CAS needs volunteers for prairie seed collection

    Seed collection is underway for the CANS/Bonnie View prairie restoration project. The goal of this project is to transform over 13 acres of fescue pasture into a beautiful and bird-friendly prairie and savanna habitat. Starting this fall, and continuing through the growing season next year, we will organize teams of volunteers to collect seeds of wildflowers and grasses from prairie remnants and restored prairie habitats throughout central Missouri. These trips will not be long (usually about two hours) or physically demanding, and they will let you explore and learn about prairie habitats in your backyard. Volunteers should bring gloves, pruning shears/clippers, water, sunhat and a belt (to hang a seed collection bag).

    We hope to have a half dozen seed collecting trips this fall, and we have three planned for October, which are listed events here on the website. Plans are subject to change, so if you are interested in any of these trips please contact the leader so you can be informed of any changes. John Besser [email jbesser1@gmail.com; cell 573-639-2211] Becky Erickson [email beckyerick711@centurylink.net; phone 573-657-2314]


    Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014

    SB 506 & HB 1326

    You may have heard about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) a degenerative disease that flared up in 2010 which produces approximately 2 months of suffering and 100% mortaility for deer. The Missouri Department of Conservation intended to prevent CWD by banning the importation of captive white-tailed deer (20 states already do this), improving fencing standards for private deer shooting farms, and mortality testing for captive deer.

    In reponse, the private deer farm shooting businesses were able to attach provisions to omnibus agricultural bills (intended to allow higher livestock hauling and insurance limits) passing Senate Bill (SB) 506 and House Bill (HB) 1386 that would also move captive deer regulations to the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The Department of Agriculture has publicly said they do not want this obligation and given it, would not have the interest and mission to implement the Department of Conservation’s inititiative to protect native and wild species.

    Thankfully, Governor Nixon vetoed these bills. All the hunting organizations (Conservation Federation of Missouri, Whitetails Unlimited, etc.), the Missouri State Parks Association, and the National Wildlife Federation all support the veto of these bills. However, the General Assembly has expressed interest in overriding all of the Governor’s vetoes.

    As CWD is 100% fatal when deer contract it and private deer shooting farms already have a history of negligence and apathy (it has been detected in captive deer in northern Missouri), outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to contact your representatives in the state legislature and encourage sustaining the Governor’s veto of SB 506 & HB 1326.

    The Conservation Federation of Missouri has set up useful information and methods to contact our House and Senate Representatives at this website: http://confedmo.org/cwd.

    — Eric Seaman


    Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014

    In Memorium: Jean Graebner and Jerry Wade

    Columbia Audubon Society lost two members this summer who were major reasons the Society has benn a leader in the world of natural history in general and bird conservation in particular.

    Jean Graebner, 88, died after a three-year battle with cancer on June 30; Jerry Wade, 73, lost his duel with cancer on July 26.

    Jean’s interest in the natural history world led her to very active membership in Columbia Audubon, the Audubon Society of Missouri (ASM), the Hawthorn Native Plant Society, the Missouri Native Plant Society, The Prairie Foundation, Friends of Rock Bridge State Park, the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy, among others.

    She served both ASM and the Hawthorn Society as secretary for years.

    A native of Granite City, Illinois, Jean had both English and journalism degrees from the University of Missouri and spent 26 years as an English and Social Studies teacher at West Junior Hight School. She also operated a Scotch Pine Christmas Tree Farm with her husband Larry for almost 20 years near Rocheport before turning it into her personal wildlife refuge the final 15 years of her life.

    She was a regular on a wide variety of bird counts and wildflower walks for 40 years.

    Jerry Wade enjoyed his role as “SOB,” that’s “Spouse of Birder,” being married to Edge Wade for half a century.

    Jerry was no slouch as a field birder, but made huge contributions elsewhere in the avian world as a former president of the Audubon Society of Missouri and as the ASM membership director, and with his wife, the producers of “The Bluebird,” the ASM quarterly publication.

    He was also one of the leaders of MoBCI — the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative, an organization devoted to the future of avian habitat in the Western Hemisphere.

    Jerry, a rural sociologist whose career took him to places as far away as South Africa, was skilled in community organization and he used those skills in many areas of life — like Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission and the Columbia City Council.

    Prior to his death, he had been the leader in the organization of “It’s Our Wild Nature,” a community watch group.

    Both left huge foot prints.

    — Bill Clark


    Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014

    Third Annual Band with Nature Days.  October 8, 9 and 10, 2014

    Last year I asked our readers, “What happens when an event is a success according to every participating teacher and student?” I am asking the same question again, and of course the answer is, “you do it again.” And so it is with the Band With Nature second grade field trip.

    Mike Szydlowski, Science coordinator for Columbia Public Schools informed CAS that 55 teachers have asked to bring their class to Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary to participate in this year’s event. Those 55 teachers translate into 1,265 students.

    Columbia Audubon Society isn’t doing this alonge; it will again partner with Columbia Public Schools, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri River Bird Observatory, Raptor Rehabilitation Project, and Songbird Station. The dates for the event are October 8, 9, and 10 (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.)

    To make this event another success, CAS members are being asked to volunteer their time. Only 3–4 volunteers are needed each half day session. Volunteers will help where needed but primarily: deliver messages, distribute handouts, deliver water and lunches to activity stations, or duties as needed. Last year’s volunteers enjoyed themselves as much as students.

    Please consider volunteering. Those who volunteer for both the morning and afternoon sessions on a single day will be provided with lunch. You can contact Bill Mees to volunteer or to ask questions via email: jandbmees@mchsi.com or phone 573-445-7781.

    — Bill Mees


    Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014

    Prairie Restoration at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary and Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary

    The past few months, John Besser, Bill Mees and Allison Vaughn have been attending educational meetings, talking to experts, and developing plans. About what, you ask? How to restore an old fescue pacture to fields of native grasses, wildflowers and other forbs.

    This project will convert 13.5 acres from fescue planted for cattle into a prairie for birds. Five of the 13.5 acres of the land are in Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, the other 8 acres are in the adjacent Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary. This project represents a true partnership between CAS and Columbia Parks and Recreation. The re-establishment of prairie will benefit wildlife, especially birds, and also augment public education.

    Although planning is complete, budgets set, and site preparations begun, this is only the beginning. Eighteen months will have passed before the first native seeds are cast across the land in November 2015. Then we wait.

    John, Allison and I hope you will want to take an active part in the project. Over the next couple of months and next summer, volunteers will collect native seed at Prairie Fork Conservation Area, Rocky Fork Conservation Area, and Tucker Prairie. Purchasing native seed is the most expensive aspect of the project. Seed collecting will augment the supply of specific plant species as well as reduce the cost associated with seed purchases.

    If you are one of those who want to help make this project a success, please call (573) 445-7781 or e-mail us at support@columbia-audubon.org.

    — Bill Mees


    Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

    MoBCI Youth Habitat & Education Program Grants

    2014-2015 proposals due October 31.  YHEP grants are intended to reinforce the commitment of youth and educators to bird habitat conservation (and the environment) by providing modest financial support to projects that improve bird habitats and involve students in grades K-12.

    For more information and an application click here.


    Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

    2014-2015 CAS Budget

    CAS members, please review the proposed 2014-2015 budget and let the president or treasurer know if you have any questions or suggestions.


    Monday, Apr 14, 2014

    [5/10/2014] North American Migratory Bird Count

    For several decades, Columbia Audubon Society has participated in the North American Migratory Bird Count (NAMBC) to assess the effects of winter habitat loss (cutting rain forests), migratory habi-tat loss (filling in wetland) and reproductive loss (cutting the Boreal forest). We know we have many species in serious decline. When the national NAMBC stopped, Missouri continued and even though the state has stopped, Columbia continues. The data is now put in eBIRD but can be linked to the prior data for anyone wishing to study "Columbia's Birds".

    Saturday, May 10, we will have 13 teams out covering all of Boone County. These are different areas and teams than the Christmas Bird Count which covers a circle centered in Rock Bridge State Park. We are hoping to have the same team leaders as last year, so if you know your leader and want to participate this year, let them know. If you are new or want to change area, contact Laura Hillman at 573-442-3703 and leave a message. Allison Vaughn and Doug Miller will again compile the data.


    Monday, Apr 14, 2014

    Gans Creek Recreation Area Bird Count

    The city of Columbia is working on a new city park in south Columbia called Gans Creek Recreation Area. If you are not yet familiar with the plans for this park, you may want to visit the city's website at www.gocolumbiamo.com or google Gans Creek Recreation Area for a quick link. The site is located at 3350 E. Gans Rd. across the street from Fr. Tolton Catholic High School. Bulldozing has already begun to create soccer fields. There is a large section of this park that is designated a natural area and within this natural area is an established heron rookery. There are also plans for glade restoration. Some members of Columbia Audubon Society (CAS), Wild Ones and Master Naturalists met with city Parks and Rec personnel, Brett O'Brien and Dave Dittmer and Chris Woodson from Mo. Fish and Wildlife. They are very interested in preserving as much of the wild area as possible and are also concerned about the impact of crowds, lights, and ball fields on the natural ecology that also includes Elbow Cave.


    One of the suggested projects that came out of this meeting was to gather data to establish a baseline count of birds that now frequent the area. To this end CAS member Louise Flenner has been visiting the site over the past few weeks. There are now 20 herons gathered at the nests in 10 nesting pairs. She has also identified Wild Turkeys, American Robins, Red-tailed Hawks, American Crows, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Dark-eyed Juncos, and the sounds of many other unseen songbirds. Louise lives near the park and would be glad to be the person who collects the data. She suggests two ways to send it.  One way is to post it on ebird with the subject line of GCRA from which she will take the counts.  Or you can e-mail lflenner@hotmail.com with the same subject line of GCRA. If you don't want to use the Internet, just call or text her cell phone and leave a message of your count. Cell phone number is 573-268-7468. Please include the date, time, and air temperature of your count. The best way to get to the natural area is from the parking lot on Gans Creek Rd. If anyone would like Louise to take them there, please get in touch. We hope that we can have a positive impact on this park as it can be a beautiful site for nature lovers.


    Monday, Apr 14, 2014

    Vernon Barr, 1916-2014

    Columbia’s natural history community in general and the Columbia Audubon Society in particular lost one of the area’s most valuable leaders with the death on March 23 of Vernon Barr, 97.

    Vernon, a native of Hartville, was married to Jeanne (Taylor) Barr in 1944 and they served the Columbia Audubon Society as a team for half a century. Jeanne survives.

    The Barrs were early members of the Audubon Society, joining in the early 1960s when they came to Columbia to teach - Jeanne as a Spanish teacher and Vernon as a science teacher.

    Together they were the driving force in the growth and survival of Columbia Audubon, promoting the Audubon Film Series for two decades, working as volunteers at the annual Christmas tree sales at Wild Haven Natural Area, leading field trips and serving in whatever capacity the Society needed.

    Jeanne was the dedicated birder, editing The Chat for years handling calendar and book sales, serving as secretary for both Columbia Audubon and the Audubon Society of Missouri and as our first representative to Audubon Missouri.

    Vernon had a wide variety of interests, serving the Central Missouri Rock and Lapidary Club as president at least four times. Vernon was in a leadership role in bringing Rock Bridge Memorial State Park to life and he and Jeanne were long-time leaders in the Friends of Rock Bridge.

    The Barrs were deeply involved in the acquisition of three of the four Columbia Audubon properties. They were close friends with Lee Jenkins and leaders in working with Lee to turn his home and property into Wild Haven. Vernon then served as land manager for two decades.

    He also was instrumental in negotiating the transfer of both Albert properties to Columbia Audubon and was the original land manager for the area near Murry.

    Vernon was also proud of his Air Force service in World War II and his 34 years of teaching science in public schools. He was proud, too, of his efforts to see the Katy Trail become a reality and laughed often about being in charge of car parking at a huge rally at Rocheport to promote the trail.

    He asked for volunteers to handle the overflow crowd, drafting one early arrival who worked most of the day in hot sun. His volunteer was Edward D. Jones, the financial fund director and premiere proponent of the trail.

    It is reasonable to say that the reason Columbia Audubon Society is a strong organization today is because of the foundation the Barrs helped build half a century ago, then worked a lifetime to strengthen.


    Friday, Feb 7, 2014

    CANCELED: 2/8 Burroughs Audubon Nature Center field trip

    The Saturday, February 8 field trip to the Burroughs Audubon Nature Center in Blue Springs, Missouri has been canceled due to adverse road conditions in the area. We'll try to reschedule for next fall.


    Saturday, Feb 1, 2014

    GBBC Backyard Bird Feeder Crawl

    The 2014 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place Friday, February 14, through Monday, February 17. The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day citizen science event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are.

    You’ve heard of a Pub Crawl? Well, to help celebrate the 2014 GBBC, CAS is having a Backyard Bird Feeder Crawl! We’ll carpool to various backyard bird feeders in and around the Columbia area. At each backyard feeder we’ll count birds for 15 minutes or more, submit our checklist to eBird and then “crawl” to the next location.

    Meet at Songbird Station’s parking lot at 8 a.m. The trip will be 3-4 hours long and will return to Songbird Station for coffee and donuts. For more info on the GBBC, visit http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc.


    Friday, Nov 1, 2013

    "…We also like birds"

    Have you seen the cover of the Columbia Audubon Society brochure? It’s available on the CAS website columbia-audubon.org. It’s the “…we also like birds” slogan that I want to draw to your attention. It sounds like birds are an afterthought, doesn’t it? How can that be? After all, we ARE Audubon in Columbia.

    Although Columbia Audubon Society is, of course, about birds, and bird watching, it is much more than that. On October 9, 10, and 11, 1100 2nd grade students visited Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary for the Band With Nature field trip.

    What an experience, what excitement, what a way to learn about nature, the out-ofdoors, and of course birds. Band With Nature was the culmination of months of planning by the 6 partners: Columbia Public Schools, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri River Bird Observatory, Raptor Rehabilitation Project, Songbird Station, and CAS.

    As the event progressed, I was amazed by the number of children who have NEVER been in woods; who seem frightened as the trees close in around them; who scream at the sight of harmless “bugs.” These children will become the adults who, in a few years, will need to take over from us to protect nature. It’s events like Band With Nature that in some cases begin the process of teaching children why they should care.

    The weather was perfect for all three days of the field trip. Students walked through Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary as they moved, or should I say migrated, from one activity station to the next. Each of the four stations reinforced some aspect of the school’s nature science curriculum.

    If you think I may be exaggerating the excitement or the impact of this event I encourage you to ask one of the following CAS member volunteers who helped make this event a success: Howard Hinkel, Janice Gaston, Becky Gerdes, Jim Gast, John Besser, Cathy….., Alice Reese, Denny Donnell, Jan Mees, Laurie Shawver, Cleo Kottwitz, Laura Hillman, Lori Hagglund, Pam Spencer, Joyce Hulett. Thank you all for your help!

    -- Bill Mees, President


    Friday, Nov 1, 2013

    2013 Christmas Bird Count & Chili Supper

    Mark your calender for the Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 14. Christmas Bird Counts have been going on for over a hundred years nationally and as long as Columbia Audubon Society has existed. We count in a circle centered in Rockbridge State Park. The area is divided into 13 teams with leaders who have often done the count many years and know the areas and the birds very well. Team members are also highly dedicated but teams can always use new members. It’s an all day event so it’s a great way to meet other members and of course find great birds. December is not a month for great species diversity in Missouri and for many years we worked hard to try to make 100 species collectively without success. In 2011 we finally made 102 with the help of global warming. However, last year we were back in the 90’s so we’ll see what this year brings. Of course, weather plays a large role with count days in mid-December varying from cool, sunshine to freezing, ice and snow. We’ve counted in all conditions, carefully documenting conditions. We send all of the data to National Audubon for careful compilation of the nation wide data to look for trends in species distributions that may trigger concerns needing attention. We do our own compiling right in front of everyone on a large screen on the wall at the Chili Supper. Although team areas vary widely in expected species, it’s still a friendly competition to see which team found the most of a given species. If you have not done this before and need a spot on a team or feel the need to try a new area, give Laura Hillman a call at 442-3703. If she is not there leave a message or try 573-397-1010. The more people we have counting the more likely we are to find the birds and the more fun we have.


    Friday, Nov 1, 2013

    Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary Expansion

    It is exciting to report that Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS) has grown. Effective October 18, 2013 Columbia Audubon Society became the official owner of 6 acres adjacent to the west boundary of CANS. Audubon’s nature sanctuary will now total 28 acres.

    These particular 6 acres will extend the grassland habitat west of Scott’s Branch Creek.. This is currently a fescue field with scattered trees and an old farm fence now lined and overgrown with trees.


    Friday, Sep 6, 2013

    Second Annual "Band With Nature Days", October 9, 10, and 11

    What happens when an event is a success, according to every participating teacher and student? You do it again, of course.

    Columbia Audubon Society will again partner with Columbia Public Schools, Missouri Department of Conservation, Raptor Rehabilitation, Missouri River Bird Observatory, and Songbird Station to offer second grade students the “Band With Nature” field trip. This year’s dates are October 9, 10, and 11 (Wednesday Thursday and Friday.)

    Columbia Audubon Society members are being asked to volunteer. Only 3-4 volunteers are requested each half day session to do tasks as needed (escort students, deliver messages, distribute handouts, deliver water and lunches etc.).

    Please contact Bill Mees either via email: jandbmees@mchsi.com or phone (573) 445-7781.

    Volunteers will help make this event another success!


    Sunday, Sep 1, 2013

    Birdhouse monitoring at Albert Children's Area

    This was our 10th year of monitoring birdhouses for CAS. This year we made 9 visits starting April 6 and our last visit was July 3. Summer monitoring when the temperature is getting higher and the wasps need chasing out of the boxes is not near as much fun as in the Spring when one is discovering new nests, eggs laid and possible hatchlings.

    Our totals this year of nests fledged include:

    • 3 nests Eastern Bluebirds
    • 1 nest Tree Swallows
    • 3 nests of House Wrens

    The week of June 4, we experienced the loss of 2 nests of Tree Swallow eggs and 2 nests of House Wren eggs. I believe the culprit was a snake because the nests were not disturbed.

    On July 3, our last day of monitoring, we still had 1 nest of baby bluebirds and 3 active House Wren nests.

    I always count birds during the time that I spend at Albert Children's Area. This year I tallied 54 species, including Henslow's Sparrow, Blue-winged Warbler, Northern Bobwhite, Sedge Wren, Bell's Vireo and Willow Flycatcher.

    - Kathleen and Harold Anderson


    Thursday, May 30, 2013

    Band With Nature Program Gaining Momentum

    Although the Tuesday, April 23 field trip had to be cancelled because of rain, on Thursday the 25th over 300 students brought conspicuous excitement, energy, and inquiring minds to Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary. At 9:15 the buses rolled in with 3 classes from Benton, 3 from Grant and 2 from New Haven. At 12:15 these students were replaced by 4 classes from Derby Ridge and 4 from Ridgeway. Each class spent about 25 minutes at well-planned learning sites based upon the 2nd grade science curriculum. The Raptor Rehab station featured a Great Horned Owl and a Red-tailed Hawk. The Bird Banding site was dominated by a feisty Northern Parula. The other 2 stations featured games emphasizing habitat and what happens to Quails when the habitat is diminished as well as adaptation where students examined beaks and figured out which beak was best suited for various foods which they also examined.

    Remarks from students, teachers, attending parents, and a wonderful group of volunteers suggest that the "Band With Nature" program is gaining momentum. Columbia Audubon is grateful to all who made this fieldtrip so successful, especially the CPS science program, the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri River Bird Observatory, and the Raptor Rehabilitation program. We owe special thanks as well to Songbird Station for continued financial support.

    A brief personal note. While talking to a line of students about to begin their experience I told them they were lucky that their first stop would be with the raptors. I then learned from several students in line just how much they were looking forward to the event. I was told that handlers need to wear special gloves for protection from talons, that there are really good nature programs on TV., that Turkey Vultures regurgitate. One child asked if the hawk would bite. And off they went into the woods, excited and somewhat orderly.

    "Band With Nature" is helping to mitigate what a contemporary writer calls the "nature deficit disorder."


    Sunday, May 19, 2013

    Grant School Field Trip to Rock Bridge State Park

    The U.S. Weather Bureau said zero chance of rain for the morning of May 9. Lisa Schenker’s Grant School fourth grade class may now be as leery of forecasts as we adults. The rain dampened the trees, but not the spirits of the bird seekers as a gentle rain began soon after the students got off the bus.

    Eighteen students were led through Rock Bridge Memorial State Park by CAS volunteers Howard Hinkel, Sandy Elbert, Kathleen and Harold Anderson, Lori Hagglund, Eric Wood, Janice Gaston, Julie Fisher and Edge Wade.

    Birds seen included Blue-winged, Kentucky, Tennessee and Chestnut-sided warblers, Northern Parula, Acadian Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Indigo Bunting, Swainson’s Thrush, Summer Tanager, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Bluebird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Mourning Dove, American Crow, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-eyed Vireo, White-throated Sparrow, and American Goldfinch. An Ovenbird and Great-crested Flycatcher were heard.

    In addition to the birds, there was much to see. The wildflowers were blooming. We saw Blue-eyed Mary, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, May Apple flower, and violets. Giant shelf fungus and mushrooms were interesting. A very large Missouri Three-toed Box Turtle was fun to observe up close.

    By the end of the trip, everyone was at least a little wet, but we weren’t cold. We saw so many beautiful birds and flowers and interesting natural things that we were all smiling through the drips.


    Monday, Apr 15, 2013

    CAS and Education

    Research has found that if students haven't been introduced to nature by the 4th grade, they may never appreciate its importance. So what is Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) doing to make a difference?

    CAS is sponsoring Columbia Public School teacher Kim De Vorss to attend National Audubon's Hog Island summer camp. CAS is also sponsoring Reed Gerdes, a high school student, to attend an American Birding Association summer camp. This ABA program sharpens birding skills and exposes participants to a variety of career opportunities in wildlife study.

    Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS) is the beneficiary of its first "education oriented" project. Trees, habitat, geology, ecosystems, and wildlife are all highlighted in a new brochure. This Gold Award project, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, is courtesy of Courtney Grimes from Troop 30325.

    Fourth grade students from Grant Elementery School recently visited Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area (see page 3.) Thanks to a grant from CAS, these 4th grade students will also visit Rock Bridge Memorial State Park later this spring.

    This year CAS became a "Partner Friend" with the Science Department of Columbia Public Schools. It is this relationship that has resulted in the Band With Nature field trip to CANS in April. Over 800 2nd grade students will participate.

    This May, CAS and Songbird Station will conduct a field trip just for 6-12 year olds. This field trip will concentrate on "birding by sound," and IMPORTANT first step to bird identification.

    So what is Columbia Audubon Society doing to make a difference? I'd say plenty, with more to come. All the activities above were made possible thanks to the volunteering spirit of CAS members. Join CAS, have fun, and make a difference!


    Monday, Apr 15, 2013

    CAS Annual Picnic - May 15, 2013

    Please bring a covered dish or dessert and your lawn chairs. Drinks and paper goods will be provided. The evening's entertainment will be BIRD TRIVIA! Come enjoy food and fellowship with fellow Audubon members and test your bird knowledge!

    Wednesday May 15, 6pm, at Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary (3300 Rollins Road.)  Contact Julie Fisher with any questions (julie8401@tranquility.net).


    Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013

    2013 Hog Island Scholarship recipient: Kimberly DeVorss

    The Columbia Audubon Society is pleased to announce that Kimberly DeVorss is the 2013 scholarship recipient for summer studies at the National Audubon’s Hog Island in Maine. Kimberly is a National Board Certified first grade teacher at Paxton Keeley Elementary School and impressed the CAS board with her obvious enthusiasm for integrating nature studies into the curriculum. She has taught her students about birds through science, math, art, reading, and writing and is anxious to learn even more through this unique summer program.

    Kimberly will be attending a workshop called “The Arts of Birding” for a week at the end of June. She will be working with some of the country’s best bird artists, photographers, recordists, and writers, and will learn how to use words, images, and audio to enhance her birding abilities, while exploring bird habitats along the Maine coast. Kimberly is the fifth Columbia Public School teacher to receive funding from CAS to study at Hog Island. Thanks to this support, the next generation of birders in Columbia is getting off to an early and enthusiastic start.


    Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013

    Late-Winter Burn at CAS Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary

    We recently conducted a successful prescribed burn of about  8 acres of open woodland and meadow at the CAS Wild  Haven Nature Area north of Columbia. The burn unit covered  the area from the tributary creek (west of the picnic shelter)  nearly to the western boundary of the Audubon property. Fire  lines had already been cleared last December, so when ‘burn  boss’ Roxie Campbell called late on a Thursday night, there  was little that needed to be done except put out a call for  volunteers available on Saturday. 

    Fortunately, volunteers responded, the weather cooperated,  and we conducted a successful burn on the chilly afternoon of  February 16. Burning conditions were pretty moderate (light  west wind, not too dry) so the burn progressed slowly in some  areas, but ground fuels burned on over 90% of the area over a  two-hour period. The only real excitement came when the fire  raced through the dried native grasses and torched some  dead cedars in the meadow area. 

    We hope this burn will help us meet our goal of controlling  invading trees and shrubs (like red cedar and autumn olive)  and stimulating growth of native grasses and wildflowers.  During the growing seasons after previous burns, the meadow  has put on a nice display of wildflowers, especially rough  blazingstar in late summer. We’ll have a chance to inspect  the progress of spring wildflowers in the burned area during a  CAS field trip in April (see CAS Field Trip calendar).  Many thanks to volunteers Roxie Campbell, Allison Vaughn,  Becky Erickson, Eric and Joanna Reuter, Bill Mees, and  members of the MU Student Association for Fire Ecology  (SAFE): Carter Kinkead, Benjamin Hess, Calvin Maginel, and  Ryan Sims.


    Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013

    February 20th CAS Meeting Change

    Due to pending inclement weather, John Cunning of DNR has graciously agreed to switch his March program slot with Dr. Patricia Hagen of Riverlands Audubon. John's program will be  Wed. February 20th 7:00 pm. John is DNR Director of Resource Management and Interpretation Program and will talk about the values of interpretation and nature education through various media. Dr. Hagen will join us for her presentation on March 20th.  Thank you.


    Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013

    CAS position on proposed Parkside Estates development

    Columbia Audubon Society really is "more than birds." Our mission statement makes this perfectly clear, although it remains a common misconception. Regardless, the Board of Directors and the membership present at the January 16th meeting were unanimous in their desire to speak out on a proposed residential development adjacent to Rockbridge Memorial State Park. Board Member Laura Hillman delivered our objections (read here) to Columbia’s Planning and Zoning Commission on January 24th. Laura will also speak on February 18th when this proposed development is considered by Columbia’s City Council. -- President Bill Mees


    Thursday, Feb 7, 2013

    [Spring 2013] ASM/MRBO Missouri Marsh Bird Survey Workshops

    Our January program by Dana Ripper and Ethan Duke, founders and co-directors of the Missouri River Bird Observatory(MRBO), gave us an overview of their many important research projects. As part of their citizen science and community outreach efforts, MRBO is offering two exciting opportunities to volunteer and participate in excellent training in marsh birds, “the most enigmatic birds in North America”. Partnering with Audubon Society of Missouri, the first MRBO opportunity is “March Marshbird Madness”, March 22-24, at Wappapello State Park and Duck Creek Conservation Area, with field trips to Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, Duck Creek CA, and other premier area wetlands. Next is the “Missouri Marsh Bird Workshop Series”, April 10-11, at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, Columbia. Ethan Duke will begin the workshop with basic life history and conservation status of marsh birds, followed by Eagle Bluffs CA management for marsh birds by the area’s wildlife biologist, Vic Bogosian. The two day workshop includes classroom and field training.

    For more detailed information, click here.


    Thursday, Feb 7, 2013

    January Tips for Tyros Definitions

    Click here for the definitions from last month's Tips for Tyros column.


    Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012

    Give the gift of a Columbia Audubon Society membership!

    Know someone who would appreciate a gift membership? It's a gift that keeps on giving all year long and has the added benefit of acquainting more people with Columbia Audubon Society and all it does in our community to educate, preserve and restore all to the benefit of nature, and of course us as members of mankind.

    A postcard will be sent to the new member informing them of the gift and identifying the giver.

    In addition, Songbird Station will offer a one time 10% discount on purchases (excluding bird feed) as their gift to the new CAS member.

    To send a gift membership, just visit the Membership page.


    Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012

    2012 Christmas Bird Count and Chili Supper

    The 50th Annual Christmas Bird Count will be held all day Saturday December 15. Twelve different teams will cover 12 different areas in Columbia, including Missouri River bottoms, streams, woodland, prairie, and marsh. We'll continue a longstanding tradition and help national researchers monitor the status and distribution of bird populations. Even if you don't participate in the count please join us for the Chili Supper, 6 PM at Community of Christ Church at 1111 Fairview Road. After enjoying the company of friends, wonderful food and conversation, listen as each team reports their sightings.

    If you haven't done the count before or want to try a different area or just have questions, call Laura Hillman at 442-3707 or cell 573-397-1010 or e-mail to hillmanl@missouri.edu. We need birders of all levels to find the birds and record the birds so don't be scared if you are not an expert at identification. Hopefully, your leader will be able to identify the bird you find if you can't.


    Sunday, Nov 11, 2012

    Nest Box Volunteer needed

    CAS is seeking a volunteer to monitor the nest box trail at Albert Children’s Wildlife Area on Zaring Road. Contact Bill Mees (445-7781 or jandbmees@mchsi.com)

    Sunday, Nov 11, 2012

    Naturalists Join Audubon to Clear Woodies from Native Meadow

    Near the west boundary of the Wild Haven nature area is a small treasure: a meadow full of native wildflowers. Unlike the open areas near the picnic shelter, the west meadow is not filled with nonnative fescue, nor has it been replanted with mail-order prairie seed mixes. The plant community in the meadow seems to be a remnant of the native prairie/savanna that occurred naturally in the area. We don’t know much about human use of the meadow, but aerial photos from around 1980 show a large open field extending from near O’Rear Road south to the Hinkson Creek floodplain.

    When I first saw the area in the mid-1990s, cedars were rapidly invading the few remaining acres of meadow, but many native prairie plants were still evident. Over the following years, Audubon volunteers removed many cedars and other woody invaders and conducted a couple of controlled burns. The meadow has responded with displays of wildflowers including rough blazingstar, butterfly weed, tall thistle, slender mountain-mint and sensitive briar. But the area has been neglected in recent years, and the woodies have come back in force! Both native species, like cedar, shingle oak, and sassafras, and exotics like autumn olive and multiflora rose threatened to undo our restoration efforts.
    This woody invasion was noticed by Jane Fore, a member of the Boone’s Lick chapter of Master Naturalists. (Master Naturalists have helped with several previous projects at Wild Haven, including the bluebird trail, hummingbird garden, and chimney swift tower.) Jane organized a workday for Saturday October 6, which was attended by 6 Naturalists (Janice Albers, David Frech, Emily Wilson, Laura Sweets, Lori Turner, and Mary Williamson) and two Auduboners (Bill Mees and myself.) Armed with loppers, a chain saw, and herbicide, we broke into teams and got to work. In a little over two hours, we covered virtually the whole area before we ran out of gas -- literally and figuratively! In the process of scouring the meadow, we got to enjoy lateblooming wildflowers like the rough blazingstar (smaller than usual in this drought year) and ladies-tresses orchids, which we found both in the meadow and in the surrounding woodlands.

    Thanks to all the volunteers! We made a lot of progress during the workday, but more work will be needed to continue the restoration of the meadow. The cleared area is overdue for another burn, hopefully this winter. I’d also like to expand the meadow further by killing the rest of the cedars and some of the larger deciduous trees in and around the open area.

    -- John Besser, Nature Area Chair


    Thursday, Oct 11, 2012

    November Meeting Date Change

    The November CAS meeting has been rescheduled one week earlier to Wednesday, November 14 at 7pm.


    Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012

    Volunteers Needed for "Band with Nature" 2nd Grade Field Trip

    On Thursday, September 20 (rain date Tuesday, September 25) Columbia Public Schools will have a nature field trip for 2nd grade students at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary. The program will include discussion of Habitat, Adaptation, and Survival. This trip will also include exhibits by Raptor Rehab and bird banding demonstrations by Missouri River Bird Observatory. Volunteers are needed to act as guides to lead 2nd grade classes and their teachers to activity stations.

    This field trip is a half day program for the students. Eight classes will arrive in the morning and leave after lunch. Another eight classes will arrive for lunch and leave at the end of the school day. Volunteers can act as guides all day or select either morning or afternoon. Lunch will be provided for volunteers who sign up in advance.

    To volunteer or to ask questions, contact Bill Mees by phone at 445-7781 or by e-mail at jandbmees@mchsi.com.  This field trip represents a partnership between Columbia Audubon Society, Columbia Public Schools, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Songbird Station.


    Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012

    A Mission, Education, and “Partner Friend”

    Education is one of the important components of Columbia Audubon Society's (CAS) new mission statement: to preserve the natural world and its ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and the earth's biological diversity, through education, environmental study, and habitat restoration and protection.”

    CAS has quite a track record regarding its education activities: 1) CAS funds a field trip to Rockbridge State Park for 4th grade students from Grant Elementary School with CAS members volunteering as guides; 2) CAS provides the tuition for a classroom teacher to attend the National Audubon Society Camp on Hog Island in Maine; 3) through its “Outreach and Education” committee, CAS encourages classroom participation in Project Feeder Watch; 4) This year, CAS will partner with Columbia Public Schools (CPS), Missouri Department of Conservation, and Songbird Station, for a field trip to Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary for second graders.

    The CAS Board wants to formalize its support of nature education. The Board recommends establishing what CPS calls a “Partner Friend” relationship with the school district's Science Department. The “Partner Friend” designation acknowledges a working relationship between CAS and CPS that will augment the accomplishments of each. CAS will continue to support its current education activities but new opportunities will arise — opportunities that might have gone unrecognized without the Partner Friend relationship. This relationship also increases community awareness of Columbia Audubon Society's support of nature education and its new partnership with CPS.


    Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012

    Dr. Joseph Koster bequest

    A few months ago, Columbia Audubon Society received a significant bequest from Joseph “Bo” Koster, Ph.D. who was an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University where he had been a researcher for 20 years. Dr. Koster died unexpectedly in February 2010 at the age of 45.

    Dr. Koster conducted research in diabetes and discovered one of the fundamental causes of a rare form of diabetes known as neonatal diabetes. What he discovered may have relevance to more general forms of diabetes. He loved birds and animals and was an avid bird-watcher, traveling to Africa and Costa Rica. His love of nature was shown not only by his travels but through his bequest of over $150,000 to both Columbia Audubon Society and the Missouri Prairie Foundation.

    The generosity of this bequest presents CAS with opportunities not previously within reach and also responsibilities. The board of directors of CAS is intent on using the funds, so generously given, to further the goals of the CAS mission and at the same time protect and grow the funds. At a June 20th special board meeting John Baker, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Central Missouri was invited to give a presentation. Subsequently, the board established Columbia Audubon Society Foundation within the Community Foundation of Central Missouri. The funds will receive the benefit of professional management within the guidelines established by the CAS Board. The
    establishment of the foundation will also assist the CAS treasurer with the accounting necessary for tax filings and fund tracking. Although Dr Koster’s untimely passing is a loss for his family and friends, we at Columbia Audubon Society hope there is some comfort that they can take from the positive impact his thoughtfulness will accomplish for years to come.


    Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012

    2012-2013 Programs

    This year’s programs promise to be equally interesting, reflecting an education theme. To start, we will enjoy a presentation by Mike Szydlowski, Science Coordinator for Columbia Public Schools. CAS has partnered with CPS to bring a first-of-its-kind second grade bird festival, hosted at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary on September 20.

    Additional guest speakers confirmed are nature photographer, Noppadol Paothong, Dana Ripper and Ethan Duke, director and assistant director of Missouri River Bird Observatory, and Dr. Patricia Hagen, Executive Director at Riverlands Audubon Center.

    Watch your Chat newsletters and our CAS website for more information about these and other upcoming programs.

    Please note MEETING TIMES. The Board will meet from 6:00 to 7:00. Our monthly programs will begin at 7:00 and will be followed by a business meeting and refreshments beginning at 8:00. All at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, 2615 Shepard Blvd., Columbia


    Sunday, Apr 29, 2012

    Back To Nature Cleanup Day

    April 21, 2012 was a busy day for 14 CAS members, the TreeKeepers, and Parks & Recreation Department personnel. 45 people skipped their Saturday morning quiet time to converge on Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary and continue the process to restore a former farm to Columbia’s future Nature Sanctuary.

    Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary got a face lift that morning. Over 300 yards of old farm fencing, barbed wire, and steel fence stakes were removed and stacked ready for recycling. All the while, the TreeKeepers were planting a variety of saplings on the hillside next to the soon to be planted prairie. The saplings supplied by Missouri Department of Conservation are all native to Missouri, of course.

    Soon the concrete will be poured for the ADA accessible paved trail around this first section that will be restored to native prairie. Stakes tied with day glow ribbon mark the future location of the toilet facilities and the shelter. These are scheduled to be completed this summer.

    CAS is proud to be a partner and neighbor with Columbia’s Parks and Reaction Department as we all move from the planning stage to the implementation stage. Things are beginning to take shape on the ground and CAS is ready to help. Parks & Recreation staff have also begun to lay out their natural surface foot trails. Trails within Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary are already cleared for the planned connection of “Ours” and “Theirs.”

    The following members attended: Eric Seaman, Dave Bedan, Glenn Pickett, John Besser, Doug Miller, Allison Vaughn, Lottie and Mike Bushman, Julie and Ted Fisher, Marge Merideth, Bill Mees and Becky Gerdes and son, Reed Gerdes. Well done to you all!

    - Bill Mees


    Saturday, Apr 28, 2012

    New CAS Leaders, 2012-2013

    At the April 18 meeting our members overwhelmingly endorsed the nominees recommended by the Nominating Committee. On June 1, Bill Mees (President, at left) and Eric Seaman (Treasurer) will begin two-year terms, and Lori Hagglund will begin a three-year term as Director.


    Sunday, Apr 15, 2012

    CAS to hold North American Migratory Bird Count in Boone County on Saturday, May 12

    Columbia Audubon has counted birds in Boone County on the second Saturday in May since the North American Migratory Bird Count started in the early nineties and we plan to continue for many more years. The county is divided into 13 areas with 13 leaders. This year’s count will have the same leaders as last year except for area 6 which will be lead by Susan Hazelwood. So, if you haven’t been contacted and want to count, contact your last year’s leader. If you want to count but have never done it or have no idea where you went last year or with whom, contact Laura Hillman at 442-3703 or 397-1010 and she will try to figure it out.

    The count was established to try to assess how birds that migrate from the southern hemisphere are doing with the challenges to habitat that are occurring in their winter and summer habitats and the crucial migratory pathways. Add to that global warming and a crazy winter/spring like this year and who knows what may happen. Thus, data like this count can be very important especially if it is as complete as our Boone County data. We will store the data electronically and are working on the best way to get it to the experts who will analyze it.

    This year we would like to offer the chance to compare notes and tell stories (and turn in data if it is ready) similar to what happens at the Chili Supper after the Christmas Bird Count. Laura Hillman will host a wine, cheese, and deserts gathering at her house for all counters
     from 7 to 10 PM Saturday night May 12 (same day as count). Her address is 7900 Cave Creek Rd. Columbia. Call 442-3703 if you get lost.

    With the strange weather and massive leaf cover it should be an interesting count. Just hope it doesn’t snow.

    - Laura Hillman


    Sunday, Apr 15, 2012

    Wild Haven News and Upcoming Events

    On Saturday February 25, a crew of volunteers conducted a prescribed burn of about ten acres of woodland at the CAS Wild Haven Nature Area. After almost two winters of planning and waiting, the weather was right, the fire lines were cleared, and a team was assembled and armed with torches, water packs, rakes, and a leaf blower. The burn unit was bounded by Hinkson Creek on the south, a small tributary creek on the west, O’Rear Road on the north, and the open shelter area on the east. At 1 PM, after a small test burn, we started a back fire near the shelter and two teams slowly worked their ways in opposite directions around the unit. Once we reached the west side, the light wind moved the fire quickly through dry ground layer of the open woodlands. Over 90% of the area burned, including several brush piles and some steep slopes along Hinkson and the tributary.

    Roxie Campbell, a Wild Haven neighbor and Rock Bridge naturalist, was our fire boss. She was ably assisted by members of the MU Tiger Fire Team: Daniel Goodwin, Garrett Arnold, and Benjamin Zack. Other volunteers included Jabez Campbell, Julian Ramsey, Eric Seaman and Kevin Feltz. Many thanks to all!

    We predict that this burn will stimulate quite a show of wild flowers this spring. There will be a couple of opportunities to enjoy the beauty of Wild Haven:

    Work Day, Saturday April 14 (9:00 a.m.-noon). Meet at the Wild Haven workshop. We’ll be removing a fence and debris from the former tenants’ garden. Wear boots and work gloves and bring shovels and wire cutters.

    Field Trip, Saturday May 5 (8:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m.). We’ll look for warblers and wildflowers! We’ll carpool from the north parking lot at Patricia’s Grocery at 7:30 a.m., or you can meet us at the picnic shelter at 8:00 a.m.

    - John Besser


    Wednesday, Apr 4, 2012

    Upcoming Talks: Community Cloud Forest Conservation -- alleviating poverty and protecting wildlife in the Q'eqchi' Maya Highlands.

    The CAS is one of many groups sponsoring two upcoming talks by Community Cloud Forest Conservation co-director Rob Cahill, who is touring the US to talk about the cloud forests, home to the Respendent Quetzal.

    The presentation is a visually rich introduction to the cloud forest and its wildlife, with special emphasis on the Resplendant Quetzal.  It will be presented on Sunday, April 22nd at 2pm at the Calvary Episcopal Church (123 S. Ninth Street), then again on Tuesday, April 24th at 7pm at the Missouri United Methodist Church, (204 S. Ninth Street.)

    The CCFC works to alleviate poverty and protect forests through agroecology, reforestation, environmental education and eco-tourism in forty remote, rural Q'eqchi' Maya communities that border the cloud forest.  The future of these cloud forests rests in the hands of the people that live along the forest edge.  Facing issues of popoulation growth, exhausted soils, chemical agriculture, agricultural burning and deforestation, the Cahills and their four children have taken a holistic approach to stabilizing and restoring communitites and an ecosystem in peril.

     


    Sunday, Mar 4, 2012

    What's Happening at Wild Haven?

    With all the recent interest in the new-and improved Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, it is easy to forget about our largest and oldest nature area, Wild Haven. At over 100 acres, with a mile of frontage on upper Hinkson Creek, Wild Haven has a wide diversity of wildlife and habitats. The demolition of the former rental house last summer has left the area even wilder than before, and even more open for exploration.
    A field trip this spring, tentative date May 5, will be a great opportunity to get to know Wild Haven better. There should be lots of birds and spring wildflowers on display.
    Another way to get to know the area would be to participate in one of several volunteer workdays planned for 2012. There will be a ‘spring clean-up’ to remove a garden fence at the former house site, to repair an outhouse damaged by a fallen tree, and to get the picnic shelter ready for the May chapter picnic. This summer we will clean up the workshop and work on mowing and trail maintenance. Tasks for a fall work day will include targeted control of invasive plants and preparation of fire lines for a controlled burn in early winter.
    Look for more details about field trips and workdays in the upcoming CHATS. For more information on Wild Haven, including directions and a trail map, check out the CAS web site.


    Thursday, Mar 1, 2012

    CAS presents scholarship opportunity for teacher summer workshops in ecology and ornithology

    The Columbia Audubon Society is accepting applications (due March 31) from Columbia teachers to attend a week long summer ecology or ornithology workshop at the National Audubon Society Camp on Hog Island in Maine. Each award covers tuition, room, and board for an intensive multi-day course of field study and instruction in ornithology, ecology, conservation, or natural history. The value of each scholarship is approximately $1000. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the recipient. Click here for more information (PDF) about the scholarship and the application process.


    Thursday, Dec 8, 2011

    Nature Sanctuary Parking Lot

    The Columbia Audubon Society has proposed building a small parking lot in the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary to increase accessibility and visitation to the site, and to remove parking pressure from the Bray neighborhood. A short 30' drive would connect Cunningham Road to the lot, which would extend a further 34' into the site. The lot itself would be 60' wide, which lies within the width of Cunningham Road and its sidewalks. The proposed Scott's Branch Trail would cross the driveway just before the lot begins. (See images below for a rough idea of the footprint.)

    All of the engineering and construction expenses have been donated -- with the exception of the cost of the concrete, which would be covered by the City of Columbia's payment for the Scott's Branch Trail easement. Construction of the lot depends upon finalizing the Scott's Branch Trail agreement with the city, the city approving building plans for the lot, and favorable weather for construction. So realistically, no work would begin before spring of 2012.

    The parking lot has been designed to be as small and unobtrusive as possible, and to minimize environmental impact to the sanctuary. The area upon which the lot would be built is a retired agricultural field, currently containing fescue and ragweed; it is at the opposite end of the property from the intact woodland and riparian ecosystems. A small information kiosk will likely be added in the future to orient visitors. Maintenance of the lot will be included in the overall restoration and operational plans for the nature sanctuary.


    Tuesday, Dec 6, 2011

    Nature Sanctuary Cleanup Day April 21

    The Columbia Parks & Recreation Department and the Columbia Audubon Society are teaming up for the first "Back To Nature Cleanup Day" at Columbia's only nature sanctuaries: Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary and Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary. It's a day of service and fun to:

  • Remove old farm fencing
  • Remove invasive bush honeysuckle
  • Clear and mark the rest of the foot trails
  • Spring planting
  • Enjoy 100 acres of Columbia's 2 nature sanctuaries
  • Date: April 21, 2012
    Time: 8 AM - noon
    Interested individuals and groups RSVP to either Columbia Parks & Rec or C.A.S.


    Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011

    Upcoming C.A.S. Programs

    After the Christmas Bird Count, CAS will kick off the new year with terrific guest speakers focused on various aspects of conservation. January 18th’s program, “Threats to Biodiversity in Missouri” will be presented by Paul Nelson, Forest Ecologist for the Mark Twain National Forest. The February 15 meeting shifts to an international focus when Brad Jacobs presents his work on bird conservation efforts in Mexico and Central America. Next will be Mike Leahy for the March 21 meeting, where he will take us on a virtual tour of natural areas across the state. On April 18, Edge Wade will wrap up our formal meetings with a presentation on ways all of us can help with Missouri bird conservation. Stay tuned for more information about our annual picnic in May. Our monthly programs will begin at 7:00 p.m., followed by a business meeting and refreshments beginning at 8:00, at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, 2615 Shepard Blvd., Columbia.


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